A new study has reported exposure to aluminum increases the migratory and invasive properties of hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) breast cancer cells, suggesting that aluminum in breast tissue could promote metastasis.

Latest research finds aluminum promotes breast cancer cell mobility

The study referenced at the beginning of this news story was designed to evaluate the effects of exposure to aluminum on the migratory and invasive properties of ER+/PR+ MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Long-term (defined as 32 weeks) but not short-term (1 week) exposure of MCF-7 cells to aluminum chloride or aluminum chlorohydrate was found to enhance the motility of the cells. Live cell imaging demonstrated that the cumulative length moved by individual aluminum-exposed breast cancer cells exceeded that of unexposed cells.

Long-term (37 week) exposure to aluminum chloride or aluminum chlorohydrate also was shown to enhance the ability of the breast cancer cells to invade through a matrigel layer (a gelatinous protein mixture used as a type of reconstituted cell membrane). The authors conclude that while the molecular mechanisms remain to be explained, the ability of aluminum salts to increase migratory and invasive properties of MCF-7 breast cancer cells suggests that aluminum in breast tissue could influence metastatic processes.